I’m still stunned that I found a book about a boy who decides to stop speaking and who can pick locks to be fascinating. “The Lock Artist” was a rare masterpiece that made an odd premise intriguing. I liked Michael from the first page, as he speaks directly to the reader and recounts the startling event that prompted his defiance of speech and lands him in prison. Steve Hamilton was able to present a cohesive novel that advanced themes of punishment, retaliation, love, loss, and defiance. Although its hard to describe exactly what type of book “The Lock Artist” is, as it focuses on so many different things like, crime, murder, love, art, and locks, these elements come together in a strange way to make the a strong and enjoyable novel.
Obviously, the element of locks had a strong presence throughout the novel , which was a clever addition to the plot. The author explains how Michael picks the locks in a manageable way, even poking fun at the complexity of it with the reader. Ultimately, the novel takes the reader on an energetic journey that reveals how Michael’s lock picking abilities will influence his life. Draped with humor, Michael’s tales of using his lock picking abilities to win friends during high school despite the obvious cliques had me nodding in agreement with his too real descriptions of high school. Michael is also an amazing artist, and this too will impact his life in a positive and unexpected way. The budding romance between Michael and the only girl he isn’t supposed to talk to is a perfect counter to the breaking and entering he is doing to make money as a “box man.” Flashing between these two story lines, the reader obtains a full understanding of Michael and becomes sympathetic to him. The author crafted a surprising tale to explain why Michael stopped speaking, which brought together the entire story in the final pages.
“The Lock Artist” was a refreshingly clever and original story that I was happy I read. I would highly recommend the novel to anyone looking for something different and engaging. A true must read!